Practice Pilates for a Lean, Strong and Flexible Body
The Pilates method is a series of controlled movements that strengthen the core through the use of a range of apparatuses.
The goal of Pilates is to increase your strength, flexibility and control of your body. Pilates focuses on your breathing and your body alignment as you execute smooth, flowing movements. The emphasis is on the quality of the movements rather than the quantity. Controlled breathing helps you to use your body efficiently and release stress.
Unlike conventional workouts that are weight bearing and build short, bulky muscles, Pilates elongates your muscles, making them lean, strong and flexible. It improves your posture and makes you less prone to injury.
Pilates helps you develop a strong “core” at the center of your body. The core consists of the deep abdominal muscles, the muscles close to your spine and the trunk, pelvic girdle and shoulder girdle. Pilates conditions the whole body evenly, rather than overworking the same muscles and leaving others untouched, creating an imbalance.
Many sports teams and elite athletes use Pilates as part of their training regime. Physical therapy facilities utilize Pilates as a rehabilitation tool. It was originally used by ballet dancers and gymnasts and is still a critical part of their everyday training.
Pilates can help you:
• Recover from an injury and prevent one
• Increase your sports performance
• Improve your posture
• Become more fluid and supple
• Use your body more efficiently
• Improve your breathing
• Increase core strength and make you less prone to back injuries
• Engage your mind and enhance your awareness
• Become more mindful
Private Pilates classes are quite expensive, but it helps to have one-on-one instruction when you start out so that you learn the necessary techniques and avoid injury. Once you have a foundation, there are many group classes that you can partake in – check the offerings at your local gym, health center or Pilates studio.